Grand Rounds

SMHS Student Affairs & Admissions News

‘I am so thrilled’: fourth-year UND medical students respond to residency match results

“I am so thrilled. I matched at Stanford, which was my number one choice, and I am just so excited to be here.”

Almost trembling with joy in a second-floor classroom at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS), fourth-year medical student Megan Corn was trying hard—but not too hard—to contain her excitement upon learning not only where she’ll be spending the next several years, but where her friends are headed.

“She’s getting to go where her fiancé is,” Corn smiled, gesturing to first one classmate then another, “and she matched at her first choice in Wisconsin. It’s just such a happy day.”

Corn is referring to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) medical student Match Day. At medical schools across the United States on the second Friday of March every year,  graduating students learn where they will complete their post-graduate residency, a period of advanced intensive training in their chosen medical specialty, before embarking on independent practice as a physician

At noon (EST) last Friday, March 15, such residency matches were given out to a total of 35,984 medical students in the United States – out of a total of more than 50,000 applicants.

Depending on their medical specialty, medical school graduates complete anywhere from three to seven years of residency training after medical school.

Students at UND’s medical school were no exception, claiming 64 matches in all.

One such student was Kole Hermanson.

Hailing from Grafton, N.D., Hermanson earned an undergraduate degree from UND before starting medical school here in 2020. And now he’s headed to Fargo, N.D., to join the SMHS Internal Medicine Residency Training Program, based 70 miles south of Grand Forks.

“I’m excited – happy to be staying in North Dakota, to be close to my wife,” he said, looking to his spouse Madeline, who starts her medical training at the UND SMHS in July. “Going to a larger institution that has a lot of consults and patient transfers – and variety – will be good. It’s a good environment to work in during medical school and I think it’ll be a good experience for me.”

Both Corn and Hermanson are among the more than 54% of M.D. Class of 2024 graduates at UND (35/64) who matched into primary care specialties of family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics & gynecology, and pediatrics. Nearly 19% (12 of 64) of the cohort are set to enter family medicine—more than double the national average—while 16 students (25%) are entering a variety of internal medicine residencies.

Eleven of those 64 graduates, almost one out of every five, will be entering residencies in North Dakota.

“What an outstanding Match Day for our students!” noted Dr. Joshua Wynne, dean of the SMHS and UND’s vice president for health affairs. “The members of our M.D. Class of 2024 are going off to some wonderful programs for residency training, both here in North Dakota and out of state. I remember my own excitement on my Match Day years ago, and a similar feeling of excitement and enthusiasm is evident now. Congratulations to all of our soon-to-be doctors! You are well-prepared for the next step in your professional journey.”

Primary care notwithstanding, other specialties chosen by this year’s class include anesthesiology, dermatology, diagnostic and interventional radiology, emergency medicine, physical medicine/rehabilitation, pathology, psychiatry, and both general and orthopedic surgery. A few students will undertake a “transitional” year of training before moving into a defined specialization.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to see the fruit of all your labor,” added medical student Ken Ryan. “It’s a doubly good feeling because everyone here has been so great at helping us get so far. So, to see all of their effort finally pay off – it’s amazing.”

A Geneva, Ill., native, who earned his undergraduate degree and now M.D. at UND, Ryan is excited to be staying in Grand Forks to complete a family medicine residency at Altru Health System.

“Geneva is a great area, but I really like it here,” Ryan smiled. “This place feels like home now. I love this building. I love everyone here who helped me get this far. It’s a wonderful place to be for sure.”